Ukrainian mum spared jail so she can rescue daughter from war in Kyiv

Olga Khomenko, 37, who admitted taking her daughter to Ukraine against a court order has been spared

Olga Khomenko, 37, who admitted taking her daughter to Ukraine against a court order has been spared jail at St Albans Crown Court so she can travel to Ukraine to rescue her from the conflict. - Credit: PA

A Ukrainian mum convicted of abducting her daughter has been spared jail by a Hertfordshire judge so she can rescue the girl from war in Kyiv.  

Olga Khomenko, 37, who admitted child abduction at St Albans Crown Court, has had her two-year prison sentence suspended so she can travel to war-torn Ukraine. 

The court heard Khomenko took her daughter out of the UK in 2017 in breach of a court order. 

Judge Michael Kay QC sentenced Khomenko to two years in prison, suspended for two years. 

According to the BBC, he said "simple humanity" informed him that the only appropriate sentence would be one which was suspended. 

The court heard there had been an acrimonious breakdown between the child's father and mother. 

Prosecutor Rebecca Fairbairn told the court the defendant was arrested after a European Arrest Warrant was issued in 2019. 

The judge said the sentence was a "one-off" in a "unique situation". 

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"If there is any chance of the child being saved the court must take it," he added. 

He said he wished the defendant "every success" in trying to get her daughter out of Ukraine.